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International Aid invited to stay in Indonesia

By May 4, 2005

Indonesia (MNN) — At a time when Christian humanitarian groups are being asked to leave Indonesia, International Aid is being asked by the government to stay.

International Aid’s President Myles Fish says they received a letter of invitation from the minister of health in Indonesia to remain in Banda Aceh to help them construct a medical equipment repair facility and training facility. “We’re really excited about it because it’s going to give us the opportunity to not only remain in that community, but to have sustained on-going face to face contact with the people that we’re training.”

Fish says this type of invitation and ministry project is unique. “One of the problems that they had after the tsunami is their hospitals (were) complete destroyed. So, they’re in the process right now of trying to either repair or replace the medical equipment in those hospitals. But, then even after they accomplish they’re left with a problem, and that is they never had anyone there on site who knew how to maintain or repair medical equipment.”

That’s where IA is helping. “We’re putting together a repair center. But, then we’re using that facility as the training site so that we’re going to be able to train a biomedical technician to work in every one of the hospitals in the Banda Aceh area,” says Fish.

International Aid doesn’t keep their focus on Christianity a secret. Fish says, “The government knew who we were, what we stand for and what we intend to do. But, it’s because we’re appropriate in how we do it. They know that we are Christians. We’re there trying to demonstrate Christ’s love in the hope that we can build the relationships that are necessary for us to actually articulate our faith in Christ.”

And, they’ve been able to do that since day one. “They were asking eternal questions from day one,” says Fish. “You can imagine when you see the entire world washed away that one of the first things you start to ask is ‘where is God, what is the meaning of life, what’s happened to my loved ones,’ and so that’s been on people’s minds from the very beginning.”

Future funding for this project and the effort on earthquake-damaged Nias Island is needed. Since the tsunami has been out of the spotlight, funding for these initiatives have been dwindling. Pray that God will use IA to help hurting people both physically and spiritually.

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